Unexpected Adventures in a Trip to Belgium and Holland
I recently visited Holland and Belgium and had a great time during this trip, but it was full of unexpected adventures.
Here, I will tell my adventurous story from the weekend getaway to Belgium and the Netherlands.
Hopefully, you will learn something from my experience, so that nothing bad happens to you in your next trip.
One of the things I like about traveling is adventures. I used to plan my trips to the smallest details, but I don’t do it anymore.
Having just a flight, accommodation and a general travel plan, it is possible to have a very spontaneous trip with lots of adventures.
Unfortunately, not all adventures are positive. I had great ones in Norway and when I was traveling in Portugal, but this time was different…
Planning my Trip to Belgium and Holland
So, my general plan was to meet my friends from Belarus in Ghent (Belgium), go with them to Breda and Rotterdam by car, and then take a train or bus to Amsterdam.
I found cheap tickets to Charleroi airport next to Brussels (11 euro one way). I was going to take a bus to Brussels on Saturday evening after the flight and go to Ghent on Sunday afternoon.
I saw that the price of transfer from the airport to Brussels was 17 euro, the price I didn’t want to pay while the flight cost just 11! So, I decided to take a bus to the town of Charleroi and then a train to Brussels how I did the previous time.
How it Really Was
I took the bus to Charleroi and hurried up to the train station to check if there are still trains to Brussels. It was 11 pm, and there were no trains (which I didn’t expect, of course). I thought that there are busses to Brussels, but no. Uber either doesn’t work in Belgium or there were simply no drivers in Charleroi. Taxi price to Brussels was 160 euro.
Hmm… what to do?
I saw one guy who apparently had the same problem as me. It was a guy from Cameroon, and he said he has some friends in Charleroi, so he will try to call them to take us to Brussels or to stay for a night. I was in for the first option, but I was almost ready to go with the second one.
In the meantime, I checked hostels in Charleroi to wait until the morning (but I already had accommodation in Brussels, so I was still trying to get there). There was one. At the moment, when I was almost ready to book it, I realized that … I lost my wallet (with 3 credit cards, some cash, id, and a student id)!
I looked for it in the train station and bus stop – nothing.
Adapting to the Situation
Fortunately, I had money on my PayPal account. On Booking.com, some hostels and hotels accept payment via PayPal. Unfortunately, the one I wanted to book didn’t.
So, we went to the house of my new friends’ friend. He wasn’t sure which one it is and we spent some time looking for the right one.
After a while with no success, I decided that he could stay, and it would be better if I go to the police station to tell them about the wallet I lost.
I did that, the police didn’t help, they just told me to do what I was going to do anyway.
I got out of the police station and called the Cameroon guy. He didn’t reply 5 or 6 of my calls. Maybe he simply didn’t want his friend to host me, a person he didn’t even know. So, I went to the hostel where I wanted to stay.
They didn’t accept PayPal, but fortunately, I could still pay with a bank transfer from my card’s bank account.
In the morning, I asked the shuttle bus drivers if somebody saw my wallet. Nobody saw. The police station at the train station was closed. So, I simply left my phone number to the bus driver to call me in case they find my wallet.
Now, I could only move with busses that didn’t require an ID and that accepted payments via PayPal. Flixbus was one of them. I saw that I won’t manage to go to Ghent in the afternoon, only in a late evening.
Change of Plans
So, I changed my plans, went to Brussels, spent 2 hours there, then Antwerp where I also spent around 2 hours, and then Rotterdam, where I met my Dutch friend, who helped me with the money, and hosted me for one night. Finally, I visited 4 cities in 2 countries during just one Sunday, and I actually liked that day.
Next day, we took a train to the Hague to get a temporary passport, so that I could take my flight back home from Amsterdam. It took just 30 mins but cost 70 euro.
We had some time in the Hague, so we walked in the city a little and took a tram to the beach. For October, it was a really nice weather.
Next, I had to go to Amsterdam to meet my Belarusian friends, while the Dutch one had work to do and came back to Rotterdam.
Relax in Amsterdam
After such adventures in Belgium and Holland in less than 2 days, I only wanted some rest. So, I met my friends and we wandered along the nice canals and some less touristic areas of Amsterdam. I realized once again that I’d love to live in this country.
Check my guide to things to do in Amsterdam in a weekend
They had to leave the next day, so in the evening after they left, I met another guy I met in Stockholm (the Italian guy who taught me how to make pasta in a kettle 😀 ).
It was a nice meeting, and the next day I came back home.
One day later, I noticed a 0,5 euro payment from my card in Brussels. Sh*t, they stole my wallet with my id and three credit cards just to buy a coke!!! (of course, I blocked the cards after that)
A lesson to learn: Not to have such adventures as me, put cards and money in different places in your suitcase/jacket/pants. Also, learn backpack packing tips.
Read about my much more positive adventures in Valencia or learn about the best things to do in Paris in one day.
Use my trip planner to have a trip you wanted, not like this one that I had.